What is Respite Care and What Can You Expect From It?

If you provide care for an elderly loved one, you aren’t alone. It’s estimated that there are over 40 million unpaid caretakers in the United States. 

Caretaking truly is a labor of love, but that labor can quickly become a burden as time goes on.

Life doesn’t stop because you need to care for a loved one. When you’re juggling elder care along with a career, marriage, and family of your own, it can be easy to get burned out

Being an overwhelmed caretaker isn’t good for you, your loved one, or the rest of your friends and family. If you’re starting to feel like your caretaking duties are too much for you to handle, it’s time to look into respite care.

Are you new to the concept of respite care? We’re going to teach you everything you need to know about respite care, and give you tips on how to determine the right kind of respite care for your family. 

What Is Respite Care?

The National Institute on Aging defines respite care as short term relief for primary caregivers. This kind of care could be given at home, in a hospital or medical facility, or even an adult day care. 

Respite care can do wonders for overtaxed caregivers that need a reliable and affordable care option for their loved ones. It’s a great transitional step for people that need to be cared for, but aren’t ready for full-time nursing home help.

Respite care can last for as long as you need it to. You may only need a few hours every here and there, or you could have longer term care plans for scheduled periods of time. 

Typical Kinds Of Respite Care

Respite care is often a popular option for caretakers because it offers people a variety of options in levels of care. You may find that one kind of respite care service works better for you and your loved one than others.

There are plenty of respite care benefits for you and your loved one. If you’re thinking of getting respite services for a loved one, consider some of these common and popular types.

In-Home Care

When most people think about respite care services, in-home care is usually what comes to mind. 

Just like the name suggests, in-home care happens at home. It could be provided by professional caregivers that are trained to care for others or family and friends that want to lend a helping hand.

Usually, in-home care is reserved for people that need assistance with basic tasks. These tasks could include bathing, dressing, or cooking.

Other kinds of in-home care help may not involve caretaking and can be used to keep people social. The in-home caretaker may take your loved one for a walk, play a game of cards, or simply talk to them so they feel less lonely.

If you’ve recently found yourself in a situation where a loved one could benefit from in-home care services, reach out to local hospitals and therapists to see if you can take courses in giving home-care aide.

Keep in mind that caring for an adult in need is going to be very different from caring for yourself or a child. Taking helpful classes in caretaking can teach you the best way to properly care for your loved one. 

Overnight or Weekend Respite 

Are you planning a romantic weekend getaway or a night out with your spouse? Do you have a loved one with Alzheimers or dementia that tends to get worse at night?

Overnight or weekend respite care can help ensure that your loved one is well taken care of when you’re enjoying your time out or catching up on some sleep.

Caretakers could come to your home, or your loved one could go a center or home where they can receive care. You can use these services regularly, or only utilize them on an as-needed basis. 

Adult Day Centers 

Adult day centers can be the ideal solution for people that want to provide care for a loved one but are typically busy during the day. 

Adult day centers give caretakers the opportunity to run errands, do chores, or simply have time to themselves. It can also be a great way to balance caretaking needs with job responsibilities.

Adult day centers could benefit people that need a mix of basic and medical care throughout the day. Many people refer to day centers as “adult day care”, but don’t think that your loved one is going to spend their time finger painting and having nap time.

Many care centers offer a mix of age-appropriate crafts and physical therapy that can help attendees. It can also give people an important social outlet and a chance to make friends. 

Community Access Respite Care

Aging can be a difficult and lonely process for people to go through. Once active people can find themselves with severely reduced mobility and less access to friends and opportunities to socialize. 

Loneliness and depression are starting to become a major problem for the elderly in the US. You may be able to provide basic care for your loved one, but you can’t also be their entire social circle.

Community access respite care can give your loved one a chance to socialize with other people their age. These programs plan activities for seniors and can help them feel less lonely and make friends. 

It’s important to note that this respite care isn’t just helpful for seniors. It can also benefit people overcoming significant trauma, PTSD, or other mental health problems. 

Emergency Respite Care

Have you ever wondered what would happen to your loved one if something were to happen to you?

Maybe you need to have surgery and will need time to recover. You may have an extended illness or could be in a position where you can no longer provide care for your loved one.

If you find yourself in a tight spot, emergency respite care can fill the care gaps in your loved one’s life. Your loved one will be cared for while you recover or arrange for more long term solutions for their care.

Transition Care

Has your loved one recently been hospitalized or is recovering from a major surgery or illness? Transition care could provide the extra help your loved one needs while they work on recovery. 

Transition care is designed for people  that have been in hospitals and need to be discharged, but still, need more help than usual. 

If you have any care concerns for your loved one after they’re discharged, take the time to look into transition care options.

Your loved one  may be more fragile than usual after their hospitalization. Having the extra help could give you peace of mind and make sure that they’ll be under the care of professionals in case anything goes wrong. 

Transition care could also give your loved one important rehab help. Some places can offer physiotherapy programs, speech therapy, memory therapy, and counseling services.

3 Questions To Ask Yourself To Find The Right Respite Care

When you have so many respite care options available, settling on just one can seem difficult. The good news is that you don’t have to decide on one! Many people use a mix of care services to help their loved one. 

If you think that respite care could be a good option for your loved one, be sure to ask yourself these important questions so you can pick the right programs.

Why Do I Want Respite Care Services?

Needing a break from caretaking responsibilities can be important, but it’s important to examine why you feel like you need a break, to begin with.

Do you just feel like you need more time for yourself? If so, services that revolve around socialization like day centers and community access care could be what you need.

Do you need a break because you’re overwhelmed by the amount of care your loved one needs? Are you concerned that your loved one is becoming to difficult to manage, or that they could hurt themselves or yourself during care?

If the answer is yes, it may be time to consider more long term care solutions to ensure that they’re getting the help they need. 

What Does My Loved One Want? 

Assuming that your loved one is alert and coherent, be sure to ask them what they think they’re lacking in terms of care.

Some may feel like you’re doing a great job and may want respite care to simply give you a break. Others may feel lonely and want more time to socialize with people their age. 

Ask them if they have any concerns about their health or the care they’re receiving. You may be able to find respite care services that are tailored to address their specific concerns. 

What Perks Would Be Best For My Loved One?

Respite care centers can offer a variety of services that can help your loved one. If you want to find the right program or center for your loved one, don’t just think about their basic offerings. Take time to think about perks each place offers. 

A center that offers pet therapy could be the best place for your loved one that’s missing the dog they had to give up when they moved in. Places with lounges and areas for families can help make visits with grandkids fun. 

Get The Care You Need

Respite care could be caregiving option you’ve been looking for. There are a variety of respite options available that can help your loved one physically and mentally, and could give you a much-needed break.

If you have any questions about respite care or our facilities, don’t hesitate to reach out. Contact us today so we can give you the help you need. 

Are you interested in seeing some of the respite care options we offer up close? We’re always happy to have visitors! Schedule your tour today so you can see what your loved one will be enjoying if you use our services.